OCTOBER

Coming back this year I was determined to blog more. Clearly, that didn’t go well.

October was the first full month back in England, and the start of my second year of uni. I’m not sure if it was having 3 months off that made me forget how busy things were, or if this year is just really that busy. I’m going to say the first so I feel better.

  
Academically, 2nd year is incredible, and incredibly hard. Since I get to choose all of my classes and they’re all major specific, I’m lucky to enjoy the topics of all of my classes. However, I think I underestimated the amount of reading and critical thinking that go into a theory-heavy course load, so although I love my classes they can be a bit draining. But if you ever want to talk about critical theories of development, I’m your girl.

  
(Me at ‘Peak Alex’, as Anna calls it) 

I’m living in town this year, which is a nice change from campus. I knew I wanted to try and separate ‘work’ and ‘home’ – something especially difficult for students since we don’t have ‘working hours’ – and having physical distance between the two has been very helpful. Still not great about not answering emails/messages late at night, but baby steps.

   

 
 To end this on a fun note, here is my Halloween story. Note: Halloween is quite different in the UK than the US, it’s more of an excuse to party than for small children to trick-or-treat. Basically, since Halloween was on a Monday night, I quickly forgot that it was Halloween and it was just another busy Monday. Anna and I however quickly remembered, when we went to get the bus back to town at 11:45 and were quickly surrounded by drunk freshers in costume. Nothing quite like the bus you take home being the bus others are taking to a night out. Clearly my life is quite exciting.

Well that was October (about a month late).

Alex

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A Weekend in London

I’ve had “write London blog post” on my to-do list since I was on the train home, about two weeks ago. Like many things on the to-do list, it fell to the bottom and has been ignored for about two weeks. I figure it’s all about priorities .

During the first week of term (the second week I was here) I had the chance to go down to London for an Amnesty International + Channel 4 conference for student media. It was really cool opportunity to talk to some incredible journalists who work on Channel 4’s ‘Unreported World’ series, and some of the researchers for Amnesty.

While the event was just a Friday afternoon, I got to spend the rest of the weekend (because if I’m going that far, why not) enjoying London with one of my absolute favourites, Bethan. Since Bethan has decided graduating and moving away from Lancaster was an acceptable thing to do, I hadn’t seen her since I left for the summer, and now just anxiously await her visits to Lancaster.
Bethan’s lovely family allowed me to crash her mum’s birthday dinner on Friday night, which was generally delicious and a great time.

Saturday we headed into London for food (very important) and some planned art viewing before going to a show that evening.

  
(Very good Greek food at ‘The Real Greek’)

While food happened (priorities) we managed to distract ourselves with wonderful food and conversation for so long that we didn’t have time for art. Sad, but not the end of the world.

Wondering around the city doesn’t really lose it’s magic for me, so I followed Bethan like a lost puppy and stared at lots of pretty buildings for a while. We then managed to make our way to the theatre where the show was, with only a bit of time walking in the pouring rain.

  
A glass of wine and a bit of very needed drying off later, we headed upstairs to the theatre and saw “Buzz: the musical”, an incredible show put on by 9 recent graduates about a woman’s journey after a nasty breakup. It was historical, relatable, and generally hilarious. We left with cute merchandise and a need for that soundtrack.

  
We wrapped up our Saturday with more food, of course. As Bethan knows how much I love Mexican food (and how much I miss it) we had dinner at Wahaca, a delicious and adorable temporary restaurant in Southbank. Food is always best shared, so we did it all tapas style and honestly, I’m still craving those tacos.

  
Sunday started off slow, but with a 3+ hour train ride ahead of me, I sadly said goodbye to Bethan after some really good mac & cheese for lunch.

  

Did being gone all weekend mean I was tired for the busy week ahead? Did I miss my very first Buddhism lecture on Friday? Was it really, really great? Yes, yes, and yes. Thank you Bethan for a wonderful weekend, I’ll at least take to you Whaletail when you come up to Lancaster next.